SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Sharon Chung, D-Bloomington, issued this statement in response to Governor JB Pritzker’s State of the State address on Wednesday:
“After Rauner-era financial mismanagement and gridlock, recent years have seen fiscal discipline, smart budgeting and a commitment to building sustainable economic growth. Six credit ratings increases from financial institutions in the past year are indicators of Illinois’ success. It’s time to take advantage of this sound fiscal foundation to address major priorites facing Illinoisans.
“First, it is vital we step in and address the substance abuse problems raveging our state. I was proud to file my first bill to support substance abuse rehabilitation clinics, and I am far from finished on that issue. However, cheap, highly-potent drugs like fentanyl are a major challenge that cannot be solved simply with policymaking. To fully combat this problem, we need a budget that also commits substantial funding towards fighting this disease. Going forward, I will advocate for serious appropriations to end substance abuse and save countless young lives.
“If we want to keep tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and job creators in Illinois, we need to invest in higher education today. Whether a technical school, vocational school, community college or four-year university, higher education can be the key to success in an increasingly-competitive job market. In my place on the Higher Education committee—as well as in a district with numerous institutions of higher learning—I’ll get the chance to take a larger role on determining policy for these institutions, and hopefully in ensuring this vital area gets the funding it deserves.
“So many of these priorities are things that Republicans and and Democrats all value. Now we must take a hard look at the specifics in the coming weeks to help ensure it addresses the needs of our community.”